Choose low-allergy plants
First, make sure you choose plants that are pollinated by birds and insects rather than the wind. Plants that pollinate themselves using the wind release millions of tiny pollen grains. These grains are what cause hay fever and the related symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose and itchy throat.
By choosing low-pollen plants for your garden, you can reduce the amount of pollen in the air. As a general rule, the larger and showier the flowers, the more allergenic they will be.
Choose allergy-friendly plants
Trees: Apple, cherry, crabapple, dogwood, magnolia, pear, plum.
Shrubs: Azalea, boxwood, hibiscus, hydrangea, rhododendron, viburnum.
Flowers: Daffodil, daisy, daylily, geranium, impatiens, iris, pansy, petunia, rose, sunflower, tulip, zinnia.
Plants to avoid
Herbs: Chamomile, wormwood.
Weeds: Pattersons curse, plantago or asthma weed.
Shrubs and trees: Alder, ash, birch, cypress, elm, liquidambar, maple, monterey pine, mesquite, oak, olive, poplar, privet, she oak, walnut, white cedar, white cypress/murray pine, willow.
There are some other steps you can take to make sure your allergy doesn’t flare up when you’re out in the garden:
- Avoid going outside on days when the pollen count is extremely high.
- Don’t garden or mow the lawn when it’s really windy.
- On cool, wet days the pollen count will generally be low.
- Avoid cutting back trees and shrubs when they are in bloom.
- Wear lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs along with a hat and sunglasses to protect from flying pollen.
- Keep your grass cut very low to inhibit seeds.
An alternative to grass
Grasses and weeds can also trigger allergies so it might be worth considering a synthetic alternative. Synthetic or “fake grass” is not only allergy-free, it’s low maintenance, easy to install yourself and a great way to make sure you have green grass all year round.
Create your own allergy-friendly garden
While it’s hard to avoid everything that triggers your allergies and hay fever, creating an allergy-friendly garden will certainly help. Check out our huge range of plants to get started.